Shortage of imported components could be among the reasons for introducing more localization for Chetak
Launched in January 2020, Bajaj Chetak electric scooter comes with USPs such as elegant design, sprightly colour options, metal body, connected tech and keyless start. However, as the pandemic began soon after its launch, Chetak wasn’t really able to unlock its full potential. Even now, shortage of semiconductor chips and other parts is being felt across the auto industry.
2022 Bajaj Chetak with increased localization
Things are expected to improve in future, as Bajaj is working on a new version of Chetak. It will have increased localization, which will reduce dependence on imported components. As revealed in Type Approval Certificate, one of the key changes is a new, more powerful motor. It generates 4.2kW of peak output and 4.0kW of max continuous output.
In comparison, current Chetak model is powered by a Bosch-sourced motor. It makes 4.08kW of peak power and 3.8kW of peak continuous output. It is likely that other key components such as battery pack could also witness a higher level of localization. With the Type Approval Certificate in place, new Chetak could be launched soon.
More affordable Chetak?
One thing that’s not clear is whether 2022 Bajaj Chetak Electric Scooter will be more affordable than the current model. Usually, a higher level of localization helps to reduce production costs. Chetak can benefit from reduced pricing, as there’s intense competition in electric scooter space. There are multiple products that are not only cheaper, but also claim better performance and range than Chetak.
Bajaj Chetak is currently one of the costliest electric scooters in its class. Even with FAME subsidy, starting price is close to Rs 1.48 lakh in Delhi. At this price, it will be challenging to generate high sale volumes.
For most buyers, a price of around Rs 1 lakh (including FAME subsidy) will be far more agreeable. TVS iQube is a good example, which is priced at Rs 1.01 lakh in Delhi (inclusive of FAME II subsidy). iQube and Chetak are not very different in terms of performance, range and top speed.
One can also consider Ola S1 electric scooter, which is available for under Rs 1 lakh in several states. In Delhi, Ola S1 can be purchased at Rs 85,009 (effective ex-showroom including FAME II subsidy). It has better numbers (claimed) such as top speed of 90 kmph and range of 121 km.
Bajaj new EV plant
To strengthen its presence in EV space, Bajaj is currently building a new EV plant in Pune. The location is the same where original petrol-powered Chetak was once manufactured. New Bajaj EV plant is being built at an investment of Rs 300 crore (approx. USD 40 million). When working at full capacity, the plant will be able to manufacture 5 lakh EVs per year.
EVs to be manufactured at the new plant include scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Apart from Chetak, Husqvarna electric scooter and motorcycles will also be manufactured at this facility. EVs manufactured here will cater to both domestic and international markets.